As a Maryland birth injury attorney, I have the opportunity to speak with mothers who are doing all that they can to care for their babies, who have suffered injuries at birth. Be it a child who has suffered an injury due to a shoulder dystocia situation and now has challenges using their limbs, or be it a child who has suffered a hypoxic brain injury, leading to a cerebral palsy diagnosis or other injury, moms are generally the first ones (there are some amazing fathers too!) on the front lines to do all they can to help their baby.
With the above said, a common theme that I encounter with a lot of mothers is a feeling of unfair blame. Blame of themselves for something, in some instances they had no control over. One of my main points in writing this Maryland birth injury article is to shed light on why some mothers unfairly blame themselves for a birth injury.
HOW THINGS CAN BE SET IN MOTION…
Many of the mothers who I speak with report an uneventful pregnancy. In other words, nothing out of the ordinary was present. They took the time to go to all of their prenatal visits. In addition to following the orders of their doctor, they ate right and even exercised when safe and possible. In their minds, everything seemed normal.
Add to the above, some mothers even developed strong trust bonds with their doctors and nurses.
WHY SOME MOTHERS UNFAIRLY BLAME THEMSELVES FOR A BIRTH INJURY
When a child has suffered an injury at birth, it can be devastating. For many parents, initial worry starts when they see their baby rushed out of the delivery room in the care of multiple medical professionals, even though the family was falsely assured that everything was proceeding fine during labor. After this action, some families are told things from medical professionals like, “we’re not sure what’s going on” or “everything was ‘normal’ so we have to find out what happened.”
Statements like the above can lead to more confusion for parents but can also “subtly” shift the “blame” as to the cause of what is happening to mom. As mentioned below, in some cases, during the vaginal delivery process, things were far from “normal” but was reported to the family as everything being “fine.” Add to it, in some cases, “genetics” will be used as the “cause” of why the baby is undergoing the challenges he or she is facing. Understandably, under these circumstances, this is why some mothers unfairly blame themselves for a birth injury.
WHAT SECOND OPINIONS AND FOLLOW UP CARE CAN SOMETIMES REVEAL…
When a child has suffered a serious injury at birth, for some parents, a second opinion is automatic. This opinion is used not only as a confirmation of the original medical opinion(s), but can also be used for possible treatment options in the future.
Often times, it is during the second opinion that the parents begin to get information which leads them to believe that more may have happened during delivery than was first thought. However, by this point in time, some mothers are already unfairly in full blame mode.
MOMS, SOMETIMES THE “FAULT” ISN’T WITH YOU, IT’S WITH OTHERS…
For some children who have suffered an injury at birth, the “fault” lies with the doctor who did not timely recognize the fetal distress that the fetal heart monitor was reporting. For some children their injury was because a nurse never started intrauterine resuscitation measures, as required in the situation. For some children, their injury was because doctors did not correctly handle a shoulder dystocia situation in the delivery room.
Moms, the above are things which you could never have any control over. These are things that are controlled by the people you trust to help you through your delivery.
A CLOSING WORD…
There can be a host of reasons why some mothers unfairly blame themselves for a birth injury. The point of this Maryland medical malpractice educational article, and supporting video, is to help those mothers who are in this situation understand that sometimes the actions of others is the cause of your child’s birth injury.
Moms, of you are dealing with any of what I mentioned above, and you would like to speak with me further, pick up the phone and call me.
I can be reached at 301-850-4832. I answer medical malpractice questions like yours all the time and I would be happy to listen to your story.
Boston Law Group, LLC
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815